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Studies & Degrees in Pediatrics

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Pediatrics is a field of medical study relating to the health of children, and like many medical professions, remains in high demand. Pediatric courses specifically teach students about the development, psychology and health of children, as well as disease treatment, surgical techniques and relevant pharmaceuticals.
To become a pediatrician, you must earn a pediatric license – a medical license that can only be obtained by attending a college or university at a medical school program. This means candidates must first complete an undergraduate course of study to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Pediatric studies usually allow for a broader range of possible undergraduate majors, but students must still fulfill all pre-med requirements. Candidates must then attend a medical school, usually after passing a standardized medical test. They will not be fully registered pediatricians until they have earned a master or doctorate degree and fulfilled a residency/internship requirement. Some universities offer online pediatric courses with residency requirements, but these may often ask for some form of medical degree before admission.
For pediatric nurses or assistants, work can begin after completing a four-year bachelor’s program, though it is advised to pursue graduate studies in a nursing school – regardless of whether or not the program offers pediatrics specifically. Pediatric nurses and assistants can also be trained using one to two year programs based in work settings.
Skills, Qualifications and Prerequisites for Studies in Pediatrics
Pediatric professionals are required to attend college, so applicants must adhere to certain admission requirements – usually a secondary school completion certificate or entrance exam. Graduates must also pass a pre-medical exam before entering a master’s or doctorate degree program. It is also important to note that a criminal background check is often administered during education or before employment in this field.
Since pediatrics revolves around childcare, a love and preference for working with children is extremely important. This characteristic needs to go hand-in-hand with professional interpersonal skills, as much of pediatric works involves communication between parents, children and other medical professionals. An innate desire to help people also resides in the most successful pediatric professionals. A quick-thinking, problem-solving mind is also highly preferred in this field, along with increased intelligence capable of retaining a large amount of medical information.
Qualifications and Skills Acquired from Studies in Pediatrics
Students may pursue further pediatric specialties in dentistry, neurology, cardiology, oncology, physical therapy and other specific medical fields depending on their desired job title. Otherwise, a study in pediatrics will usually address the following basic topics:
  • Medical and disease terminology and diagnoses.
  • Knowledge of human anatomy and bodily systems.
  • Medicine and pharmaceuticals.
  • Emergency childcare types and techniques (trauma, etc.).
  • Child growth and development.
  • Child psychology and psychosociology.
  • Treatment of childhood disease.
  • Methods of effective patient interaction.
  • Medical and lab documentation.
  • Laws, ethical policies and regulations.
  • Genetics.
Students who study pediatrics have several job opportunities in the medical field. They can become fully licensed pediatricians for hospitals, medical facilities, clinics, private practices, non-profit organizations and overseas relief work. These studies can also lead to a career as a pediatric nurse, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, dentist or assistant. These jobs will have much the same employment base as pediatricians.